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Marina plan for Glasgow after flotilla success

PLANS to build a permanent marina on the River Clyde have been resurrected.

RIVER SUCCESS: The flotilla saw some 250 boats sail up the Clyde from Greenock.
RIVER SUCCESS: The flotilla saw some 250 boats sail up the Clyde from Greenock.

Regeneration chiefs at Glasgow City Council believe there is "real, real interest" in the business community to turn the city's riverside into a hub for marine tourism, and are already in talks about how to deliver their vision.

They expect to have a business plan ready to pitch to possible investors within six to nine months.

Favoured sites for leisure boats are understood to include the area around Pacific Quay, where the Commonwealth Games flotilla moored on Saturday, or further up river at the St Enoch Quarter.

The council previously had planning permission for two marinas on the river but the move was abandoned when the recess-ion saw possible funding dry up.

Tom Turley, assistant executive director of development and regeneration services, said the department was particularly impressed by the "pop-up marina" put in place on the Clyde by flotilla organisers, the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Scotland.

Speaking at a business event staged by the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce yesterday, James Stewart, chief executive of RYA Scotland, said the success of the flotilla was something they hoped to build on. The event saw some 250 boats sail up the Clyde from Greenock.

He said: "The flotilla was two years in the planning. It was a one-off event, but I want to see how we can build on it. We want to start the conversation.

"We set out to showcase the Clyde and challenge perceptions. The flotilla was the launchpad, bringing it to the public eye and showing what's possible.

"I want to see how we can deliver a legacy for the city in terms of nautical tourism and tailor something that has got a chance of longevity.

"You could have 50 to 100 boats coming up the Clyde at weekends. These visitors also want to make the most of the cultural opportunities the city has to offer as well, whether that's museums, dining out or nightlife."

Mr Turley, who was in the audience for yesterday's talk, said he believed RYA Scotland would be "pleasantly surprised" by the council's plans.

He added: "By the end of the year or by spring next year we aim to be seeking investment. The pop-up marina was impressive, that's something I think we would like to speak to [RYA Scotland] about.

"We are putting out feelers on the market at the moment and there is real, real interest."

The conference also heard that previous Commonwealth Games host city Manchester enjoyed a "10-year bounce" in its economy, which business and tourism chiefs hope will be mirrored in Glasgow.

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